Decatur Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
When workers sustain injuries on the job, their injuries may cause them to miss days, weeks, or even months of work. If you are injured in a workplace accident that prevents you from working or hinders your ability to perform job-related duties, you should consult a Decatur workers’ compensation lawyer about your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
A dedicated attorney could help identify whether you have a viable workers’ compensation claim. Based on the specific circumstances surrounding your injuries, an experienced attorney could explain the types of benefits you may be entitled to under Georgia law, file a claim on your behalf, and represent you during the claim process.
Determining Workers’ Compensation Eligibility
If individuals sustain injuries at work, it does not mean that they are automatically qualified to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation eligibility depends on whether the injury occurred during the course of employment, the employee’s conduct at the time of the injury, and the employee’s employment status. A competent workers’ compensation attorney in Decatur could assess the circumstances surrounding individuals’ injuries to help them determine if they have a potential workers’ compensation claim.
During the Course of Employment
If an accident happens at an employees’ place of employment, Georgia law generally permits employees to recover workers’ compensation. Even if the workplace accident aggravates employees’ preexisting conditions, they may receive workers’ compensation benefits if the injuries arise during the course of employment. However, certain instances may not qualify.
For example, all employees typically have to commute to get to and from work. If employees suffer injuries in an accident during their commute, they may not be able eligible for workers’ compensation benefits because commuting is typically not considered part of employees’ official job duties.
Even if an accident causing injury occurs during the course of employment, Georgia law prohibits employees from recovering workers’ compensation benefits if their intentional conduct causes their injuries. O.G.C.A. § 34-9-17 specifically prohibits employees from receiving benefits if their injuries stem from:
- Purposeful misconduct
- Intentionally self-inflicting injuries
- Attempts to injure other people
- Deliberately failing or refusing to use safety appliances
The same statute states that employees cannot receive workers’ compensation if their injuries occur while they are intoxicated, unless they can prove that being intoxicated did not cause their accident or injuries.
Eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits largely is limited based on employer size and the nature of the work performed. Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws only apply to businesses with three or more employees. Therefore, employees who suffer workplace injuries and work for a company that employs less than three people may not be able to recover workers’ compensation.
Similarly, Georgia’s law precludes farm laborers from receiving workers’ compensation unless their employers elect to provide them with benefits. Additionally, the law generally prohibits independent contractors from receiving benefits.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If employees qualify for workers’ compensation, they may receive compensation for different types of expenses and losses they sustain because of their injuries, including:
- Hospital and medical care costs
- Rehabilitation costs
- Disability benefits to compensate for lost wages
- Death-related expenses and losses, such as burial costs and compensation to cover lost income the deceased worker’s dependents experience due to the accident
Depending on the nature and severity of the injuries sustained, Georgia law allows injured workers or their families to receive one or more of these workers’ compensation benefits. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Decatur could help injured workers and their families understand what types of benefits they may be entitled to based upon their injuries.
Additionally, a devoted attorney would fight to help injured workers and their families recover every form of compensation they may be entitled to by filing a claim on their behalf and representing their interests during hearings on the claim.
Speak with a Decatur Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you sustain injuries in a workplace accident or a family member dies on the job, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Consulting with a Decatur workers’ compensation lawyer could help you determine whether you have a potential claim based on the particular circumstances surrounding your accident.
A Decatur workers’ compensation attorney could also file a claim on your behalf. Call today to speak with an attorney.